When People Want You To Stay in The Shadows

Share Button

Step into your light.

People don’t like you.

That’s what she said. My best friend in high school told me, “People don’t like you.”

She and I were both part of the music and theater crowd, and we were talking about some recent auditions for our school’s upcoming show.

“What? Why?!” I asked, flabbergasted.

“Because you get up there on the stage like you know you’re going to get the part, and then you audition, and then you do get it. Everyone hates that.”

People don’t like you when you succeed. That was the takeaway, the start of me thinking I needed to stand in the shadows.

Little did anyone know how hysterical I always was before an audition, how I never practiced in advance and waited until the last minute to even try out so that I’d have an excuse when I didn’t get picked. I was always convinced I wasn’t good enough and scared beyond my wits.

And then I would get picked. In fact, on most occasions I’d get the lead. I had no idea why! Performing was something I liked to do and it was what I gravitated to and so I’d drag myself kicking and screaming into auditioning, sure that I was awful and had no business being on the stage, and I’d get picked. It was always a complete shock to me when I’d land the lead. And then I learned no one liked me for it.

I was devastated.

* * *

A little more than a decade later, when I was working at Coca-Cola, we were to have a meeting with the head of our department. In the particular group I was in at the time, we rarely got this kind of audience. All I knew was that each of us was going to have a short period to share an update on our projects. I was excited about the opportunity, so I did what I thought I should do. I went through everything I was working on, looked at objectives and results, and wrote up a summary.

At the actual meeting, it turned out I was the only person who had done so much preparation in advance. I was the only person who had a physical piece of paper to share. I was the only one who had any data. The boss said he was duly impressed. When the meeting was over, one of my colleagues sneered, “Way to show us up, Katherine.”

Again, I was stunned. It seemed like the normal thing to do to be buttoned up and ready to go in front of the Vice President. I wasn’t showing anyone up. It had never occurred to me that everyone else wouldn’t be doing the same thing I had done.

Here we go again. Get back in the shadows, Katherine. People don’t like you.

* * *

I’ve come to believe that each person has a spotlight waiting for them. There’s a light shining down from God, or the universe, or whatever it is that you believe in, and you just need to step into it. It’s your light and no one else’s. It’s the space in which you do what you’re meant to do. In which you are the fullest iteration of you. What’s great about your light is that it doesn’t overlap with others’. There’s no competition. To get into my light, I don’t have to crowd anyone else out of theirs. Stepping into mine doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to step into theirs.

For a long time I didn’t understand this. I felt like I couldn’t, shouldn’t step into my light. If I did, people wouldn’t like me. That’s what my best friend told me. That’s what my colleagues told me. Don’t do well, for goodness sake! Don’t raise your head up above the crowd. Don’t value yourself, or be proud of what you have accomplished. Don’t stand out in any way. Don’t even accidentally succeed, without strategy or forethought. If you step into your light, you’re taking away from others. I was wrong.

Still, stepping into your light is painful. It’s already bad enough when you have your own fears and anxieties about saying or doing anything special. Having any opinion, or staking your ground. What right do you have?!, you admonish yourself. We all do. Yet you are still pulled toward that something special, so much that eventually you have no choice but to push past your fears and try, only to have someone loudly object, “You were right. You don’t have any right. We don’t give you permission to do or be this.” They are wrong.

I want to step in. I’m going to step in, or at least try, into whatever it is I’m pulled to do, however many things that is, and I want you to know that it is no reflection on you whatsoever. In fact, I’d like to be standing in my light, next to you standing in yours, next to her standing in hers. There’s enough for all of us.

I don’t want to be vanilla just because it’s the most acceptable flavor for all people. I don’t want to stand in the shadows.

 

For more from the Fierce Blog, click here.

Photo credit: © blinkblink – Fotolia.com

I’m really hoping you’d like to come along with me on this fierce journey. Join me by entering your email address in the box below and clicking “Subscribe me!” to subscribe to the Fierce Blog:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Share Button

Comments

  1. Needed this SO bad, Katherine. So bad. Thank you.

  2. I love this so hard. It’s so so so true! I wish more people understood that stepping in to OUR light doesn’t change anything about their ability to step in to theirs. And it would be great if we could all work together to be the best version of ourselves.

    • Me too Alena. There’s so much tearing down. Making fun of. Questioning. Diminishing. I had such a hard time just writing this post today. I could just envision someone saying, “Oh look at her! She wants us to know she had the lead in all the plays. Doesn’t she think she’s special.” And then me slinking back to the shadows …

  3. Simply put, this was amazing. We all have our own lights and while those glimmers of brightness might intersect with the brightness of others, they are ours. Completely.

    Loved this.

  4. Love this. And proud of you!

  5. AMEN.

    I love this.

  6. Katherine… I’ll blame it on the flu but got so weepy when I read this. You are so brave, so fierce and such an inspiration. It really would be a great loss to the world if you let other people’s insecurities keep you in a box.
    xo!

  7. This speaks to me. I’ve had the same experiences so many times and for a long time I was wondering what I was doing wrong. I don’t want to be ashamed to do things right or well or to *gasp* enjoy what I’m doing! But I am trying to be more conscious of my reactions to others. When they tell me they don’t like what I’ve done, I acknowledge it now and let it go. I move on. That’s the only way to get closer to your light. I hope you find your light and enjoy the journey searching for it!

  8. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

    My husband has struggled with the same thing. He’s smart & confident, and that seems to put some people off. He’s also tall, and this sounds kind of silly, but I really do think that intimidates some people and people don’t like being intimidated. (Maybe this explains why I’m so fond of you! You remind me of my favorite person in the world!)

  9. Shining our own light does NOTHING to diminish others. I wish everyone could learn that lesson. I wish we didn’t judge each other. But I suppose its human nature to compare and feel less than. Its a lesson I’m learning all the time. I want to be my best self and want others to be theirs. What a great world we’d live it if that were true all the time.

  10. Love. Whole-heartedly love.

  11. TheNextMartha says:

    I loved this so much. I have often felt like “the odd one out” for going the extra mile, being honest, just being me and have ended up feeling alienated from others who were scared or just didn’t do the same. I have felt strong in my light and don’t care for the shadows. I encourage everyone to find their light. It’s wonderful.

  12. There IS enough for all of us.
    I love that you’re here. I can’t wait to see where your light lands next.

  13. I really needed to read this today. You have no idea. Really. I have a blog post that has been knocking around in my head. I will for SURE be linking to this.

    My greatest fear is being “ordinary”, yet…that is where I stay.

    Thank you for kicking my ass out of ordinary.

  14. The number of women friends that I have lost over the years because I stand in my light (or strive to) and they are uncomfortable with that is long. It’s shameful that we are made to feel that we should be less than because we want to strive for our best, and others feel less than or insecure because they compare themselves. I have never EVER been jealous of a friends success so much that I stopped being friends with them or discouraged them from standing in their light because I wanted to remain in the dark. Shame on those that do. I love standing in my light, and I’m okay if it takes me time to find other women who will stand in their light next to me.

  15. Nikki Tully says:

    Katherine, what I drew me to you years ago and what I have always admired about you is just how put together, strong, intelligent, gracious, and good you are. You stand in your only light, so much brighter than so many, and always conduct yourself beautifully. You will continue to lead because you aren’t afraid of sharing and using your gifts and you encourage others to do the same. I hope my light will shine as bright as yours – I would love to stand next to you, my friend! xoxo

  16. Katherine — you have NO IDEA how much I needed this!! Having just dipped my big fat toe into the world of talking about beer on tv (how dare I – being a woman and all!?) I have been shocked & surprised at some of the jealous, competitive comments I’ve received. It was scary as hell… but I refuse to stand in the shadows. Thank you SO MUCH for these incredible, empowering words. Cheers to you, Katherine. Shine on!!!

    • Do it girl. Talk about beer! I know it hurts and I know it’s scary. Please know that I get it. I’m not sure how we’re all going to keep going on our journeys. We’re going to try though, right? I have to at least try.

  17. Fantastic — thank you for writing this and sharing it Katherine. I know I’m not the only person who needed to read it today!

  18. Reed Christian says:

    I’m a long-time friend of @notsuperjustmom, and I teach a journalism class. Would love to reprint this in our next school newspaper, with all appropriate credits and such for you and your sites. Our students need to hear this! Please contact me at reed.christian@cherokee.k12.ga.us at your convenience with contact information. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!

  19. I’ve felt I needed to stay in the shadows many times in my life. Now I’m finding (or reclaiming) my light as well. It is scary, and awesome… but, bask in your light, lady! I’ll hopefully be in mine… looking at you… smiling and waving. Got my sunglasses… I’m ready…
    You’re brilliant.

    • I have to say I sort of thought other people might feel similarly, but to see these comments. It gives me the chills. So many of us feeling we need to stay in the shadows. Just wow.

  20. I loved this!
    You know in the theatre world they tell us to “find our light” – this reminded me of that. There is that magic warmth moment when you stand just where you need to stand and you feel the glow of arrival. There is enough light for all of us when we are ready. xoxo

  21. Beautifully said…

  22. I LOVE THIS. That is all.

  23. Thank you for these words. I can no longer count the number of times people have tried to shove me back down, as a female engineer, because they were either intimidated because I knew my stuff or mad that they didn’t have the courage to go after their own dreams. It gets exhausting to hear “sit down and shut up” all the time. Thank you for the “stand up and shine on”.

  24. I enjoyed this piece so much! I have always been one to jump into the spotlight and people have called me an attention whore before. But it’s just who I am as a person. I like to be wild and free and I don’t want to blend into the crowd. Thank you for saying that I don’t have to.

  25. There was a part of me that started reading this and was completely rolling my eyes. Oh, poor girl…you ALWAYS got the lead. But, I have to wonder what sort of conditioning that is in me, to want to put down your, as my five year old daughter would say, “Sparkle.” The other day I posted on facebook that at 37, I completely love my body. And, that was edited down from…MY BODY IS ROCK SOLID, SLAMMIN, AMAZING! Then, I felt like I had done something wrong just posting my own praise. Ugh…I liked this post. I hope you succeed, and I hope that you celebrate it proudly.

    • Thank you for sharing that initial reaction. I really worried that’s how some might see this post. (It wasn’t my intent, of course.) And by the way, I think it’s amazing that you love your body. I don’t love mine, and I would love to feel the way you do. It’s funny how we write and rewrite and rewrite and edit down to almost nothing anything positive we feel about ourselves.

  26. Oh Katherine. This. Yes, this. SO needed to read these words. Bless you, my friend…

  27. I completely relate to your story about the presentation at Coke for the VP. It didn’t matter if it was a class project or a bulletin board at the school I worked at. If I did what I considered a “good job,” people whispered about how I was trying to show off. My first and second years teaching, despite having a talent for it, I pretended to be clueless, kept my mouth shut in meetings, and asked questions to which I already knew the answers…all so I wouldn’t be labeled as a know-it-all. After several years, I learned to own my success. Damnit, I worked hard for it. Put in long hours. Agonized over it.

    I’m glad that I’ve found a tribe of women on and off-line that don’t compete. That let me shine and celebrate with me when things are going well.

  28. That we don’t all strive to do our absolute best, not just absolute bare minimum, is ridiculous. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to slow down, stop talking or to leave because my work ethic was rocking the boat. I have long since caring what others so or think about me at work. I’m there to do the job I’m getting paid to do, not win popularity contests. If I wanted to be into that crap, I would have moved to Hollywood to be an actress sleeping her way to an Oscar I’d never earn with talent like so many others in this world dream of doing. I feel sorry for all of them.

  29. Oh Katherine. I don’t even know where to start. I struggle with this SO much. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, so I try everything I can get my hands on. I usually end up being at least okay with all of it, but I still don’t know where my light belongs, or how to appreciate it when it peeks out. You are absolutely one of the most amazing and inspirational people I’ve ever met.

  30. Beautiful new blog! Love this post. You go girl. xo

  31. The most painful part of being told to simmer down was it started at home, from my sister, and in small part from my mother because I was being “too much” for her at that moment. So, yeah. It’s huge problem. Everywhere, not just at work or at school.

    • I loved this post, Katherine. Stacey’s comment here echoes my own. I have this memory of me at 8 or 9 (my own daughter is 8 now) just wiggling and dancing and feeling free, with a hairbrush microphone in my hand. My mother grabbed the “microphone” and hit me with it. She said, “What right do you have to be happy. Go to your room.” Your post here, Katherine, reminds me of how long we carry those messages and how they interfere with so many of our goals.

  32. I get this to some degree because I don’t think I ever really had the CONFIDENCE that I could shine. So I shied away from trying. Now, when I accomplish something, in work or in life, my initial instinct is to poo-poo the praise. I lost 100 pounds (purposefully, I needed to!) and when people would say how awesome I did, I’d say, “well, it wasn’t too hard” and I’d think, “I was ‘wrong’ before, I only made myself ‘right.’” I have a very hard time handling praise–”You’re doing so great!” “Well, not any better than most people.” I still haven’t explored deep enough to figure out exactly why.

  33. Titania Jordan says:

    Life is too short to not embrace your spotlight and let what is unique to you shine. Building each other up is so much more productive than tearing each other down. I’m consistently inspired by your words Katherine. You helped me and countless others. You have changed lives. Thank you for that.

  34. I do this, I am still doing it. I think that I don’t have the talent, the gift or even the worthiness to be any more than I am. I tell myself, often, that I should be grateful for what I have and not strive for something that is someone else’s.
    I consider myself a very good cheerleader for people and I feel like it’s my destiny to stay there on the sidelines.

    I am so glad that Melissa Ford encouraged me by way of a FB share to come over here, because I needed to read this, even if it’s going to take me a while to believe it about myself.

    you look great in the spotlight Katherine.

    • Hi Kir! I’m glad Melissa encouraged you to come to! I know how hard it is to believe in yourself. I waver back and forth nonstop. That’s what I’m trying to say with this new blog. That it’s very hard for ALL of us. So let’s talk about it together, and why it’s so hard, and what it’s going to take for us to get there.

  35. You know, I’m not sure I’ve really experienced that a lot. I’m not sure why. Just got lucky to have been celebrated for success and surrounded by others who work to get there, I guess. But this is still all so true, and so beautifully expressed. I know what that light feels like, and we all need to get there.

  36. Do you read Brene Brown’s work? If not, you should. You are kindred spirits. Love this!

    • I have read one of her books, The Gift of Imperfection, which I loved. I haven’t read Daring Greatly yet, believe it or not, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to dare greatly. It’s been sitting on my bedside ever since I went to an event called Mighty Summit last Fall. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear what she had to tell me about what I needed to do. Isn’t that funny?

      • It isn’t funny in a look at me, I’m giggling kind of way, but in a GET OUT kind of way. I have the book, heard all the good things about it, and yet…it sits. Taking charge of my life and destiny instead of sitting back and bitching about the lack of direction in my life and potential destiny? Novel concept.

  37. What an amazing post, it just makes me think that we if we all said to ourselves “stand!” then the world would be an incredible place, not that it isn’t already but I think you get what I mean! :-)

  38. Though it hurts to hear that people don’t like you, and it seems like I’ve been hearing it a lot lately, I realize it is because I’m doing something right. I’m doing what I want to do and being who I’m meant to be. People who aren’t doing the same are usually jealous, or can’t find their own light. That sucks for them, but I can’t let that stop me from being in mine.

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Katherine, I can so relate to this. I got the lead as a sophomore. All but my closest friends hated me. I learned to retreat and not show off too much. I needed to read this today to realize that I need to let my light shine. Thank you for shining your beautiful light.

  40. For me, it’s external voices that tell me to cast the light aside for I don’t deserve to be in it AND it’s that internal bitch who tells me I’m not worth it, I’m not good enough, no one will like it/me/what I’ve written. I am no one. And yet. I know that is a lie. Every time I try my hand at something and actually receive accolades I am shocked. And that hurts because it’s not so much a shock that I did something I enjoy doing and that I did it well. It’s that someone else, other people, believe it and acknowledge it. I am someone and it’s high time I believe that, step into that light, and proclaim that I am worthy of its shine. Thank you.

    • My husband called me earlier (he’s on a trip) and he asked what I was doing. I said, “I’m kinda kicking this new thing off today. It’s very weird. We’ll just see.” He asked, “Why is it weird?” I said, “Because nobody gave me any permission to start writing about being fierce.” Permission. Can I give myself permission? Can you? I understand exactly what you mean by the internal voices, the ones that say you have no business doing x, y or z. I’m fighting them this very moment.

  41. Thank you for stepping into your light, Katherine! And thank you for sharing this post. It’s such an important reminder to be true to ourselves.

  42. Perfect, however unintentional, birthday present. Thanks, Katherine. I needed this more than anything today. :)

  43. Good for you! It’s great advice. Some people are so afraid they won’t find their own spotlight that they have to try an tear people out of theirs. Pity them.

  44. I do believe you just help my daughter understand her childhood and teen years. She has always put everything she had into what ever it was she was doing. My philosophy was always, “do your very best at what ever it is you are doing” I tried to never pressure my children into doing more than they could achieve, she was her biggest critic. She was and is a beautiful person! You hit the nail on the head for so many! GREAT post! I’m 54 years young and now I understand!

  45. Excellent post! It’s amazing how those around us say they want to see us succeed but so many times they don’t mean it. Seeing you be content with mediocrity makes them feel better about not striving for greatness in their own lives. We have become a generation without imagination and dreams…. we are happy with comfortable. When you see successful people they really do have everything we all have, they just didn’t listen to the doubters or the jealous and pushed forward. I have learned I need to surround myself with positive people who get out there and take a risk to achieve what they want. I always want to put my all in to everything I do, just sliding by is not for me. Again such a wonderful post, thank you for sharing it with us!

  46. I like to think of this in the philosophical words of Tina Fey: “bitches get stuff done.” That’s not necessarily what you’re writing about here, but in a way it is. Everyone needs to find their spark to light their fire and shine. Regardless of how much I am now thinking about Jim Morrison.

  47. I like you. I have since the minute I met you. I like it that you are good at things. Shadows are for suckers.

  48. I love this so much, thank you for doing it.
    I used to worry about things too much, who liked me, etc. Then when Gregory and then my dad died, my perspective really shifted. Then I knew that my main worry should be what did I think about me?
    And I’m much happier that way.
    I just wish everyone felt the same as you do !!

  49. You captured some of the feelings I have felt, but with more clarity. Loved LOVED this part:

    “What’s great about your light is that it doesn’t overlap with others’.”

    Yes. It’s not a competition. There is enough light for all. Thanks for the reminder.

  50. –How saAaaaad that people (even your best friend) were so utterly jealous of your gifts.

    It makes me ANGRY that they forced you to stand in the shadows…

    But I am pleased to read that you are out of the shade and standing proudly and beautifully in the light!

    Brilliant, inspiring, eloquent, honest post.

  51. Thank you thank you thank you…
    I just finished writing a post about my son and his daily attacks of bullying.
    This was a great read and just what I needed to hear.

  52. I’m excavating some old journals and am in a nostalgic mood. That, plus this post, made me search for this song from an old favorite musical of mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg4GOgZ-L1I

  53. Love, love, love this, Katherine! No one should worrying about taking up too much, only that they’re not making use of what is theirs.

    Ancient wisdom stands the test of time: SOL OMNIBUS LUCE (The sun shines on us all)

  54. Brilliant post, Katherine! Thanks for the very timely reminder.

  55. I absolutely love this, isn’t it funny how we become afraid at doing well at something. If we could all just be a little more supportive of each others success it would be so much easier to enjoy our successes.

  56. I needed this today. After being the only one on my team to attend a conference where it was only managers & I was the only contractor & scared out of my mind…I needed this. Thank you.

  57. Never apologize for the strength of your light. I hope with posts like this and people like you, we will begin to understand that an achievement by one does not necessitate a failure by another, we can all benefit. You are radiant.

  58. I’ll never understand the mentality of people who only like those who they are doing better than. Who don’t like people who do a good job with something. It seems so petty. And there’s no way we should let petty people keep us from shining when it’s our turn to shine. xo

    • And yet, I think we do, Shell, don’t you? Sometimes it takes me so long to break through that fear of how others will perceive what I’m doing. And in this social media world, the fear that no one will care, no one will read, people will think it’s stupid, etc., etc. You’re absolutely right that we shouldn’t let people keep us from shining, and yet I find we sometimes do, at least for a little while. (P.S. So glad to see you here!)

  59. Thank you!! I often struggle with this for fear of what others will think. I feel strongly that I have missed out on things because of that fear. This was a good reminder not to worry about others and to claim my light. I feel like a sign in my office (or kitchen, etc.) that says “claim your light” might just be in order ;)

  60. Brave writing. Thanks for being so painfully honest.

  61. So much truth to this. I’ve felt the backlash many times from just doing my best.

  62. Love this. Amazingly written! So incredibly true!
    Thank you for sharing!

  63. This is fantastic. I think so many people worry about being liked or presenting themselves as what everyone expects them to be that they forget how to just be themselves. The real, true people that like and love you want you to succeed, and the ones that don’t really don’t matter.

  64. Fantastic Katherine!

    You do what you do so well and you really do shine, so glad you are refusing the shaddows. We need you in the light where you belong.

    * interestingly it’s taken me almost 20 minutes to write this comment because my 2 year old wanted to watch a video of herself playing with play-doh 3000 times because ” I am so funny Mama!” She has no concept of the shadows, no knowledge that anyone would want her to hide her talents. I know I won’t be able to protect her from those who want to push her into the wings but I do hope I have the power to drag her back on stage where we all belong.

    • What a great story. I was watching my 6yo daughter dance around to music with such freedom last night. I don’t think there’s anything that fills me with more joy than seeing my kids do something fully and freely in the light, without any thought whatsoever as to how it is seen or perceived. I wish I could capture it in a bottle.

  65. Oh Katherine, you have me crying buckets over here. I think this has been one of the biggest issues I’ve had in my life so far. With every blessing, and every nudge into my own spotlight, I’ve had people (acquaintances, friends and even close family) that I’m being a show-off, overachiever, and am not liked because I’m always taking away the good opportunities from everyone else. So, I stopped. I adapted into the person they wanted me to be and I missed out on some really great things in life. I ignored my spotlight. Thanks to writing and blogging, I’ve found my light again and I’m not letting it go this time. I know what I’m meant to be doing, and I can do it quite well. I refuse to let anyone steal my shine again.

  66. FANTASTIC. INCREDIBLE. SPOT-ON. Thank you-Juliet

  67. I really needed this today, too – I see that others are also saying that. The timing is impeccable!
    This inspires me to be better and be ME today, and we need more of that every day.
    Wonderful post – I will be sharing it all over the place.

  68. Chuck Bolt says:

    Nicely written. I have often had people accuse me of showing off when I was just trying to do what I do. Keep writing…

  69. This has been my recent personal work. I’m working on stepping in my light and asserting my voice into the world. So many times I was told to be quiet, sit still, BEHAVE! I’m not going to listen to those voices anymore. So thank you for these beautiful words.

  70. FAR out and excellent!!!!

  71. Beautiful piece, Katherine, and so true. I think when people react to someone claiming the light, it is because they feel that you are casting a shadow on them. It took me a long time to realize that the problem was with them and not about me. Thanks for the reminder to keep claiming the light, and whenever possible, bring others up into the light with you.

  72. Love this, Katherine… I feel and have felt the exact same way.

  73. OH this is perfection and you perfectly centered in your light. I definitely needed this. Thank you.

  74. YOU HAVE WRITTEN MY STORY! THANK YOU! I LOOK FORWARD TO OUR STANDING NEXT TO EACH OTHER SHINING IN OUR OWN LIGHTS! Excellente! Thanks so much!

  75. Another reason why I look up to you. You are the reason I blog, the reason I am learning to forgive myself and be MYSELF. Thank you Katherine. You always step up to the plate and make me want to do more for others (and myself). You give me hope and have helped me heal. Blessing to you and your family always x

  76. Okay, so after scrolling for a half-hour’s worth of comments, you probably already know that this is an amazing post. But you know what? I’m tired of people saying, “Yeah, but you don’t really need the support so I didn’t comment/ share/ invite you/ include you.” Because they are wrong. This is me sticking my head into your circle of light and saying that I love this. Every line sang to me.

    I think I’ve had moments of realizing this same feeling but it’s so freaking uncomfortable that I never explored it. I remember the exact moment in school, however, that I decided to stop over-delivering.

    Love this. You should know that.

  77. What a powerful message and one I can relate to very well. I have been told I need to be more vanilla, yet reminded I would never be vanilla enough if you get my drift. I love the message here. You can not be what everyone wants you to be. You have to be you.

  78. Liz Scherer says:

    Absolutely beautiful and spot on! You need to be on Flashfree.

  79. thank you thank you thank you thank you! THANK YOU! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  80. Gayle Lin says:

    Very nicely done! I’ve seen this happen over and over from school kids up through adulthood.
    It was a sad thing when I had one son say he was going to slack off so he wasn’t better than his best friend. I convinced him it would be better to help his friend rise.

  81. Katherine,
    I cannot, even for a second, imagine you NOT being in your own light! Your piece here just confirmed what I’ve known since the moment I met you.

    You’re awesome!

  82. wow. just….wow.

  83. I’ve read this several times and I keep coming back to it. Every time I read it I go “THAT’S ME!!! Katherine is describing me! How did she get in my head so well?!?”.

    I censor myself so much because I don’t want to be “That Chick” who makes people roll their eyes because of being so passionate. But sometimes I can’t help myself and it just leaks out. I see/hear/read something that grabs me and I have to take off with it, and I have these great ideas, and I just RUN with it. And I run so FAST. And it’s my BABY, and I’m PASSIONATE about it and outspoken… and then I get people who try to down me. “It’s not really that big a deal”. “It’s not really that important”. “You’re so over dramatic”. “Why do you have to always go to extremes?”. All because I jumped in feet first fully clothed.

    Usually, this has the result of either making me more outspoken just to prove I won’t be told what to do (I’m stubborn and hardheaded like that) or it has the opposite effect and it makes me feel so bruised and beaten up and I just want to quit and shut up altogether because if people feel like that, what’s the point?

    It happens when I get a compliment. I go “Oh it really isn’t that big a deal” or some other variation of brushing it off and minimizing whatever it is I’m being complimented on. That has more to do with stuff from my past though but it’s still the same thing.

    I can’t accept compliments and I mute myself on things I care about and am passionate about so that my passion and potential success doesn’t offend other people.

    I even have trouble saying “Hey, I might have a good chance at this!” because that feels like I’m being narcissistic.

    I almost didn’t even post this under my real name because of the very issue at hand.

    So, stopping rambling now, thank you for this. We all need it. It’s something we all need to realize and internalize.

  84. This is beautifully written. And so perfectly said.
    And completely true to our human nature.
    And I have been so completely guilty of standing in the shadow for a very long time and it wasn’t until my husband cheated that I chose to step out and I will never, ever go back again.

  85. This post was sort of like a huge kick in the butt.
    What I mean is, I don’t do compliments very well. In other words, I don’t know how to accept them with grace and genuine gratitude because in the past I bought into what others were saying about when I’d get any sort of accolades or reach a goal. Most recently it was a thing I worked on with HBO . . . and when this sort of crap comes from your own mother? Yeah, you tend to shrink right back into the shadows.

    However, as I read the post, I was reminded of my all-time favorite quote by Marianne Williamson, that sort of goes hand in hand with this post . . .

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    I’m only just now beginning to allow myself – to give myself permission to come out from the deep, dark, cold shadows, all because I obsess over being the one people gossip about (and I have been) or the one people are jealous of, or the one people just hate on principle alone, because I’m the fat girl, and God forbid fat people get anywhere in the world! So I’m taking steps, albeit small steps, to separate myself from the shadows, despite most of them being of my own making.

  86. I always hated feeling that I had to suppress myself to make others happy. Did it in high school. Did it for too long in a going-nowhere relationship. No. No, no, no. Never again. We owe it to ourselves to step into that spotlight. To do any less is a betrayal of the person we were created to be. <3 this, so much!!! Thank you, times infinity.

Trackbacks

  1. URL says:

    … [Trackback]…

    [...] Read More: fierceandpowerful.com/wordpress/when-people-want-you-to-stay-in-the-shadows/ [...]…

  2. [...] This post from Fierce and Powerful inspired me to write this. [...]

  3. [...] 14. When People Want You To Stay in The Shadows from Katherine Stone. [...]

  4. [...] to meet Katherine briefly at a party last summer and I instantly liked her. Now, I understand why. Every single one of you should read this wonderful post, and take it to heart. Take your place in the spotlight. It is your place and you deserve it, no [...]

  5. [...] each person has a spotlight waiting for them.” Of course I’m going to love this post – a little go out there and do what you do like only you can do inspiration from Katherine Stone (via Kyran [...]

  6. [...] believe that each person has a spotlight waiting for them." Of course I'm going to love this post – a little go out there and do what you do like only you can do inspiration from Katherine Stone (via Kyran [...]

Speak Your Mind

*